COVID-19: “no signs” of infection after 5,000 people test concert in Barcelona

BARCELONA, Spain | The experience has something to inspire hope in the cultural world: according to the organizers, there were “no signs” of infection after a test concert with 5,000 people at the end of March in Barcelona, ​​Spain, where a masked audience could dance without distance.

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Two weeks after the Love for Lesbians concert on March 27, “there is no indication that transmission (of the coronavirus) took place during the event that was the target of this study,” according to data provided by the public health system. Dr. Josep Maria Llibre from the Germans Trias i Pujol Hospital in Badalona said with delight during a press conference.

The audience, who underwent full antigen testing prior to the concert, wore FFP2 masks.

This concert “proves that we can run a massive test campaign in one morning and smoothly,” said the doctor.

Fifteen days later, only six positive “asymptomatic” cases out of 5,000 spectators were officially identified as part of routine health checks, and organizers are confident “that four of these six cases did not transmit infection. concert “.

As for the other two, “there is a very high probability that they were not infected here (in the room, editor’s note), because the measures we have taken are safe,” said infectious disease specialist Boris Revollo.

The organizers, however, were unable to indicate how many people took the test within two weeks of the concert because if they had no symptoms or no patient contact, the participants had no reason to do it.

Therefore, it is possible that asymptomatic people may have gone undetected.

No “super transmission”

In an interview with AFP, Dr. Revollo confirmed that it is impossible to accurately determine the number of cases of infection if they were during the event.

“We can say that there was no ‘super show’ at the concert. This shows that we can organize safe events to avoid transmission of the coronavirus, ”explains the latter.

The public simply gave permission for a possible positive test result within two weeks of the event, and health authorities notified the study organizers.

In addition to the FFP2 tests and masks, ventilation as well as reception capabilities in critical locations such as toilets were tightly controlled.

Organized by a group of festivals, music promoters and the Germans Trias i Pujol Hospital, who wanted to show that concerts are possible despite the pandemic, this experience is one of the few that has taken place in Europe in contemporary music.

Another test concert took place in early March in the Netherlands with the participation of 1,300 people.

But already in December in Barcelona, ​​with the same team of researchers, 500 participants came to the concert standing, glued to each other, but wearing masks. This time they passed the PCR test, and eight days later, no one was infected.

“Barcelona and the culture of Barcelona are once again pioneers in an unprecedented situation where cultural activities must be preserved with all the guarantees of health,” said Jaume Collboni, First Deputy Mayor of Barcelona, ​​overjoyed during this urgent conference.

“Restrictions can be relaxed and combined with cultural activities that need to be resumed,” he said.

“The eyes of the whole world were on us,” says Angels Ponsa, cultural advisor to the regional government of Catalonia, enthusiastically. “On the day of the concert, we hugged each other with tears in our eyes: it seemed impossible to us, and we made it possible,” she added.


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